All kids deserve an equal chance at life, but not all kids are the same. Each one is unique in their passions, ways of learning, and interactions with the world. But sometimes, the ways that make a child unique can also hold them back from an independent, fulfilling life.
Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) affects the development of communication and behavior. Because of the way society runs, ASD can negatively impact a child’s social and academic life, their future career, and their ability to become independently functioning adults. However, this does not mean children with ASD have to live a “lesser” life! With a little extra help and guidance, children with ASD can thrive in their worlds.
At Thriveworks Dover, we have a specialist therapist trained in Autism Therapy who is passionate about walking alongside those with autism so they can life fulfilling, happy lives just as well as those without ASD.
What Is Autism Spectrum Disorder?
In the psychology field, autism is classified as a developmental disorder. Basically, this means it has a strong genetic base and symptoms begin during childhood.
Autism in specific is a disorder that affects how children see the world and interact with it. Usually they will have trouble interacting with peers and challenges in a school setting.
Thriveworks Dover wants to stress that children and adults with autism are no less capable of leading a successful life than neurotypicals (those without autism). The definition of “success” might have to be tweaked a little, and there will no doubt be challenges along the way, but at the end of the day, autism is not a curse. It is a unique perspective of the world that can make things difficult, but not impossible.
So, what are the signs of autism? Usually symptoms begin to show around age 2 and are pretty noticeable. If you think your child may have autism, look for these signs:
- Inability to make eye contact
- Poor listening skills
- Doesn’t seem to express emotion (not a lot of smiling or laughing. Facial expressions may not change often.)
- Failure to respond or lapse in response when their name is called
- Difficulty holding a conversation
- Intense, focused interest in one topic
- Difficulty reading contextual clues and tone of voice
- Repetitive speech or actions (repeating words or phrases, one specific movement that is repeated)
- Difficulty adapting to change of routine or need to have things stay the same
- Acute sensitivity to light, texture, noise, or taste
- Disturbances in sleep patterns
- Preference for older companions, difficulty relating to peers.
These are just some of the more common autism symptoms. It is a very diverse and complicated disorder, so every person will exhibit symptoms differently! As the name suggests, it is also a spectrum. So, each person will experience symptoms with varying degrees of severity.
It can be scary and confusing when you have a child with autism symptoms and frustrating as an adult. Thriveworks Dover is here to help guide you through the therapy process and reach that life you deserve.
What Is Autism Therapy?
Since every case of ASD is unique, so is every therapy journey. The age of the person, gender, and symptoms will affect the exact path a counseling session takes. Dover Thriveworks believes in a client-first practice that focuses on what your goals are. We are professionals, and have years of experience to draw upon, but at the end of the day, therapy is about you. Getting you and your child to a place where you are both thriving is our goal. Together, we can get there.
Of course, there are some common threads between Autism Therapy sessions. In a session, a Thriveworks Dover counselor might:
- Work with the school to get in-class aid
- Develop communication skills
- Work with parents to adapt to the child’s unique needs (like sensitivities to changing plans or texture, for example)
- Practice physical therapy (managing repetitive behavior)
- Develop behavioral management skills
- Practice occupational therapy (teaching children and adults how to do basic life skills like getting dressed or brushing their teeth)
These are just a few of the specific therapies you might work through with your Thriveworks Dover Autism Therapist. As always, it is important to see a counselor quickly when you begin to recognize signs. Therapy for autism is proven to help improve the overall life satisfaction, and the earlier we start, the better it will be!
An autism diagnosis can be scary and confusing. Where do you even start? Is there hope? What’s the next step? Thriveworks Dover wants to assure you that yes, there is hope, and plenty of it! Autism is not preventable or curable, but it is manageable, and does not have to be a hinderance to a great life. Yes, life will be different for those with autism, but different is not always bad. With a Thriveworks Dover Autism specialist, different can thrive.